By Dominique Patton
BEIJING (Reuters) – Farmers are illegally growing genetically modified corn in China’s northeast, said environmental non-profit Greenpeace on Wednesday, in a report that may generate further distrust of the government’s ability to ensure a safe food supply.
Beijing has spent billions of dollars to develop GMO crops that it hopes will ensure food supplies for its 1.4 billion people but has not yet approved commercial cultivation amid deep-seated anti-GMO sentiment. The new findings seem to confirm concerns that Beijing will be unable to supervise the planting of GMO crops once commercial cultivation is permitted, leading to widespread contamination of the food chain with GM varieties.
In its report, Greenpeace said 93 percent of samples taken last year from corn fields in five counties in Liaoning province, part of China’s breadbasket, tested positive for GMO contamination.